Festivals & Events

The Goan calendar is filled with all kinds of festivals and events - both Hindu and Christian in origin.

Here is a selection of a few of our favourites - we hope you can discover some celebrations during your holiday in Goa. If you would like more detailed information about some of Goa's festivals and events, visit our blog. 

JAN

Shantadurga temple, Goa  - Jon Hurd, Flickr Jon Hurd, Flickr

Shantadurga

Shantadurga is a Hindu festival where a solid silver statue of the goddess Shantadurga is carried from the village of Fatorpa to Cuncolim. It is a lively five day event where a funfair and market stalls are set up to celebrate the occasion.

 
26th JAN

Flag celebrating Republic day, Goa - Sanyam Bahga, Flickr Sanyam Bahga, Flickr

Republic Day

Celebrating the day Goa became part of India with patriotic displays on cars, buildings and houses.

 
JAN

Wine Festival sign, Goa  - Fredericknoronha, Wikimedia Creative Commons Fredericknoronha, Wikimedia Creative Commons

Grape Escapade / Wine Festival

Organized since 2005, the Grape Escapade in Panjim has wines, haute cuisine and an entertainment extravaganza. The grape stomping, which is a tradition at the festival, is a source of much delight and fun for the visitors and is an intrinsic part of the festival.

 
FEB/MAR

Holi festival (colour festival) in Goa  - Soumyadeep PaulSoumyadeep Paul

Holi

Holi Festival or the Festival of Colours is one of the most celebrated festivals in India and is the first in the Hindu calendar. Marking the arrival of spring, it commemorates fertility and good harvest with the throwing of colourful paint and water. The temples in the south of Goa celebrate Holi festival with the most enthusiasm.

 
FEB/MAR

Shivratri festival celebrations, Goa  - Shalu Sharma, Flickr Shalu Sharma, Flickr

Shivratri

A Hindu festival celebrating the anniversary of Shiva’s creation dance and wedding day. Celebrations are held all over Goa.

 
FEB/MAR

Carnival Festival in Panjim - SITA SITA

Carnival

The capital Panjim comes alive during this three day Goan Carnival, including colourful processions of floats, live bands and dancing inspired by Brazilian Mardi Gras. Although not as authentic as in the past, this carnival is perfect for keen partygoers who can dance the night away.

 
MAR

Shigmo festival, Goa  - Abhisek SardaAbhisek Sarda

Shigmo

One of the most colourful festivals in Goa, Shigmo is celebrated by the Hindu majority with joyous festivities and elaborate parades. On the eve of Shigmo, a fiesta of colour and rich cultural heritage unfolds across the length and breadth of Goa. Also known as Shigmotsav, the festival spans over a fortnight, with different days earmarked for celebrations in diverse areas.

 

Easter

Mass is held in churches throughout the state with Old Goa holding the largest services.

 
OCT/NOV

Diwali festival, Goa  - harpreet singh, Flickr harpreet singh, Flickr

Diwali

The Hindu festival of light is a five day event celebrating the triumph of good over evil. The festival features the lighting of lamps, hanging of paper lanterns and the giving and receiving of sweets.

 
NOV/DEC

Maquinez Palace, Campal, Panjim, Goa - Fredericknoronha, Wikimedia Creative Commons Fredericknoronha, Wikimedia Creative Commons

International Film Festival

India’s equivalent of the Canne Film Festival, this event welcomes film-makers and actors from all over the world to the state capital Panaji. The festival is currently being held at Maquinez Palace in the capital.

 
3 DEC

Church of St. Francis Xavier, old Goa - Sandeepsea, Wikimedia Commons Sandeepsea, Wikimedia Commons

Feast of St Francis Xavier

The biggest of all Christian Festivals in Goa is the Feast of St Francis Xavier or Goinchea Saibache Fest, (Lord of Goa Festival) as it is known locally, when thousands from across the world visit to participate in the morning mass in Old Goa. Held on the anniversary of his death, this festival celebrates the life of the Saint who brought Christianity to Goa.

 
25 DEC

Church of the Immaculate Conception, Panjim Goa - Josephdesousa, Wikimedia Commons Josephdesousa, Wikimedia Commons

Christmas

Christmas in Goa is a magical time, Goa celebrated by both Hindus and Christians alike. The day is commemorated with feasting, fireworks and many festivities all over the state.

 
DEC

Sunburn Music Festival, Goa  - Pdmsunburn, Wikipedia Pdmsunburn, Wikipedia

Sunburn Music Festival

A 3 day electronic dance festival held in the beach and party destination Vagator, Sunburn festival is considered to be Asia's largest music festival. An amalgamation of music, entertainment, food and shopping, it was ranked by CNN in 2009 as the 9th best festival in the world.